So you may have noticed that the update sched­ule of this blog can best be described as ‘inter­mit­tent’. Other pos­sible descrip­tions are ‘infre­quent’, ‘occa­sional’, ‘fit­ful’, ‘non-isochronal’, or even ‘as rare as mer­maid toes’. We can only apo­lo­gise for that: life tends to get in the way.

The trouble with blogs that have a some­what lack­a­dais­ical update sched­ule is that, sooner or later, you stop check­ing for new posts. That’s bad for the blog (fewer read­ers), but also bad for you, because you might miss an inter­est­ing article.

RSSBut did you know that you don’t have to keep check­ing back?

Now, if you’re a techie sort, you’re prob­ably rolling your eyes at this point, but yes, I’m talk­ing about RSS. If this is old news to you, then you can go back to installing Ubuntu on your microwave, and read no more.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It lets you sub­scribe to ‘feeds’ from you favour­ite blogs, and see all the updates in one place.

Let me show you how it works:

1) Find the RSS feed. Most (but not all) blogs have them. Ours is on the right, “Entries RSS” under META. (The other thing you can look for is the orange RSS icon). Click on the feed, and note the URL – ours is http://unruleyarticles.com/feed/ )

Now you need a ‘feed aggreg­ator’ – there are many avail­able, but I’m going to talk about Google Reader.screenshot2

2) In Google Reader click “Add a sub­scrip­tion” and paste in the URL. Hit “Add” and there you go.

3) Of course, if you’ve only sub­scribed to a single site there isn’t much point. But if you sub­scribe to all the sites that you keep for­get­ting to check, then you start to see the bene­fits. Bookmark Google Reader and you’ve now got all your intermittent-or-infrequent blogs avail­able in a single place.

As you can see from the screen­shot, new posts on any of the sites are shown in bold – it’s set-up a bit like an e-mail viewer; you can eas­ily see what remains to be read.

So there you go: RSS – you might want to give it a try.

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